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FOUR LESSONS WORKING IN VIETNAM’S PUBLIC SQUARE

by Bob Roberts Jr.

Last week was a truly incredible week as NorthWood Church hosted top diplomatic leaders from Vietnam.  Universities, business leaders, civic leaders – all were shocked when I as a Pastor showed up with our delegation. I had set the meetings up in advance but it’s still hard for some to fathom a relationship between a pastor, a church, and a Vietnamese Communist.  Jesus likes it.  2015 will be twenty years of normalization between Vietnam and the US, and they want to celebrate it and move the ball forward in their relationship with the US.  I’ve been asked as a pastor to bring pastors from the US and there will be, in addition, a conference on faith and society with the government.  Vietnam taught NorthWood Church in ways nothing else ever could.  I had studied “missions” but knew little of globalization, domains, city management, public works, or anything else people in the public square have to deal with on a daily basis.  My view of the world was seen only through tribal religious eyes, prior to this, and not global, comprehensive, relational, geopolitical eyes.  It should not have been like that.  The Kingdom is much bigger than “religious” work.  When we get the Kingdom of God, all work is for the love and glory of God and the love of humanity.  Read more

WHY START A MOVEMENT WHEN YOU CAN JOIN THE WORLD’S GREATEST MOVEMENT – THE JESUS MOVEMENT!

by Bob Roberts Jr.

I had so much fun last week speaking and participating at the SENTRALIZED CONFERENCE put on by Lance Ford and Brad Briscoe.  As usual Alan Hirsch is brilliant and listening to Ori Brafman was a treat.  I always learn something from Neil Cole.  Brad and Lance we’re really good.  Caesar Kalinowski really did excellent teaching on the Holy Spirit.  Michael Frost brought such a great word on grace . . . I could go on and on.  One of the things I like about this conference is the freshness of questioning everything – even themselves!  That’s transparency and real thinking in my book.  So as we began the session Saturday morning they talked about the whole “missional movement” and where it is heading, where it is running out of steam, why that is, if it is, and what needs to happen?  The answers were simple, Brad talked about loving people, Caesar talked about being filled with the Holy Spirit, and Michael talked about living in grace.  I’ve heard some mega-church pastors have the same conversation about the “mega-church movement”.  Read more